Friday, October 26, 2007

body image

We all know how, once you have a baby – the focus is on baby, and therefore, how necessary is it really to be pretty again? I mean, your baby is the prettiest thing in the room, and getting all the attention, so why bother with a burp cloth? If she pukes on your shoulder, no one will care because they’re all oohing and ahhing over the little beauty queen, anyway! Yeah, just kidding – that is not an okay place to be. But the opposite is to allow yourself to use your baby as an accessory, and dress her to the nines, use fashionable burp rags, and pack your $150 diaper bag with high end diaper cream, and designer pacifiers. It is a hard walk, being a new mom. And being a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t exactly give you all the same motivation to get back (or just get) into shape like you have when you plan to go back to work. What do I do? I vainly attempt to take a shower every day, and apply mascara and lip-gloss. But the hardest is the clothes. Honestly, the muffin top disaster that is created by jeans worn too low on a post baby belly, squishing in the bum, but allowing the belly all the room in the world to flow freely, is equal in laughability with a new mom’s only other option – the mom jean, worn well about the belly button, with the zipper making your belly look like it has the same crack your backside has. And the way clothing is made to fit today is truly only attractive on a size 6 or below, when the average American woman is a size 12, what is a frumpy new mom to do? I get stuck in silly hooded sweatshirts, with the pocket just big enough to hide my belly, and short sleeves to emphasize the thinnest part of my body – my forearms. I have 2 pairs of jeans that look decent enough the second time I wear them after they come out of the dryer (ie stretch them out of muffin-top phase). But this is ridiculous. I should be allowed to be proud that I have embraced every single thing that my woman body was created to be for me – not constantly worrying about what I should or shouldn’t eat to fit into that adorable little dress at Target of all places. And this isn’t even about being healthy – because there are plenty of very healthy woman bigger than a size 6, and plenty of less than healthy ones below, yet the fight continues in our heads for appropriate body image. Loving that woman of a body, with larger then Target brand bra boobs, and stretch marked skin that should be a symbol of the power my body holds, and the blessing of my child should be easy, simple. But it isn’t for a simple reason. We women judge ourselves against one another instead of embracing our similarities, our power, our individual beauty. I look at other moms pushing strollers, and ask myself why don’t I look like that yet? Or, how long did it take her get there? Yet, as easy as it is to type these thoughts about body image, they aren’t easy to believe. Because, all woman want to be the one pushing the stroller being looked at with those questioning eyes. All women want to be that anomaly of smaller than pre-pregnancy 2 weeks after giving birth. Even – especially me. But, do we even want it more than we want the Reese’s peanut butter cups we bought for “trick-or-treaters” 2 weeks early?

home alone

James is gone this week. He is in Mississippi with a group from church doing hurricane Katrina relief rebuilding work. It is a perfect thing for him to do, and I am so glad he’s willing to use his gifts for this greater good. And, even though I miss him to pieces, I have really done well filling up my stay-at-home-mom time! For those of you who don’t have kids and don’t understand, let me fill you in. once you have a baby, you have all these aspirations to be active, and hang out with other moms, and learn so much about your baby in the midst of this perfectly set up schedule. Doesn’t happen. Well, at least for me. I don’t know any people in Issaquah with kids, anymore. And it certainly is easy to sit at home playing with Hazel, all the while watching (straight in a row) the View, Ellen, E News, Martha, Tyra, and the Cosby Show! What’s even more difficult is leaving the room, for small portions of time, to switch over the laundry, empty the dishwasher, go to the bathroom, you know. But, leaving the house can be the worst. Make sure she’s not hungry, has a clean diaper, the diaper bag is packed, you have enough burp cloths, you have enough spit-up/poop-explosion changes of clothes, you are going to be in a nursing “safe” place when she starts screaming, and I could go on and on. Thinking about going out with a friend who doesn’t have a baby? Think harder about all of the above. But, God is looking out for us lonely girls this week. Monday, we played at Grandma’s house, then stopped in to visit Hazel’s newest best friend Matilda (and mom’s old bf Rebecca). Tuesday, we met Grandma in Seattle for lunch, went to Hazel’s first TEDDY study appointment (wait for that blog later!), and then went to our childbirth preparation class reunion and met all the babies, as well as gathered other stay-at-home-moms’ numbers! Tomorrow, we have a play date, a lunch date, and a dinner date. Thursday and Friday, we have dinner dates, too, plus a play date Friday afternoon! As much as I don’t usually get done during the weeks, look at all the excitement we get this one week! So, what’s next you ask? It’s time to find an Issaquah stroller brigade, or mom and baby pilates class (4 months is about as long as one can allow oneself to still look at maternity pants as maybe okay to wear out of the house!!)!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I feel so good now that we have finally found a church. I say finally in 2 different tones. The first is the finally meaning, yea – we know, we don’t go to church regularly, and haven’t for oh, about 2 years, we are lazy and enjoy sleeping. Who really wants to get all involved with a congregation all over again – from scratch – and really, what is church for? My relationship with God is just great here from between my flannel sheets, electric blanket, and down comforter, not to mention how fun it is to channel surf between the old 80’s flicks full of hysterical sex scenes, and evangelical preachers sending me to hell. And the other finally, meaning once we [finally] started searching for the perfect place for our budding new family, we practically had to look under rocks to find a place that at least tried to share the LOVE OF GOD with EVERYONE. We almost started thinking we had a different bible from these people. But then, some friends told us about this church that would be perfect for us. By this point, our bean was 1 ½ months old which, in our Lutheran tradition, was getting a bit past her ‘infant baptism’ prime (not to mention growing out of the family baptismal gown!) and we were getting hungry for that Lutheran fellowship again. Way past hungry. So, we went – slightly skeptical of the white middle upper class suburban neighborhood it was set in (I know, I know, if you could take back thoughts…) and fell in love. The first week, the pastor’s sermon drew us further up and further in. The second week we were completely surrounded by people with babies under 12 months old. And the third week we were invited to an infant/toddler Sunday school class. And now, Sunday morning – we can’t get out of our flannel sheets, electric blanket, and down comforter fast enough, stick the 80’s flicks on our Netflix list, and retire the wacko Pentecostal preachers for solid Lutheran theology. And the best part about all this? A young mom and dad found a place to worship wholly again, and their baby girl (and, sheepishly her folks, too) have a place full of peers to challenge and be challenged by in the years they can grow in faith together – because that is what church is for. Finally.

Friday, October 19, 2007

so i've never done something like this before....

... and i'm a little intimidated. but it can't be that hard, can it? and besides, it might even make me a better communicator to all these friends i have long since lost now that my mind is usually elsewhere - lost in babyland!

hazel kathryn is now 17 weeks old. not quite 4 months, since 4 weeks don't always (or even usually) equal 1 month, but evidentally old enough to get teeth - surprise surprise. yes, she popped out number 1 (front bottom right) last sunday, followed ever so swiftly by number 2 (front bottom left) on tuesday. and just in time for halloween - she's our little jack-o-lantern! don't fret, she has yet to sharpen them on me, but i'm sure that dreaded story won't be long to wait for.

hazel (whom we also affectionately call bean) also decided that passing the 3 month mark should also mean rolling over. well, sortof. she rolled tummy to back, back to tummy, left side, right side, and a few more practices before she decided she was over that - and moved on to continuous chitter chatter. all day, every day. but at least it's still cute - wait for that blog later :-)

well folks, here i go - awkwardly, yet commitedly starting this thing! here's hoping it's wonderful!